Cindy, Craig, Rachel and Abby are the proud parents and sisters of Kodi Everest Kaufman who has outlived his four other canine siblings since he joined the family in September 1999. The Kaufmans are avid dog lovers and are passionate about animal welfare.
We have a nearly 13-year-old Great Pyrenees named Kodi who has been using his Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair for the past six months. Kodi’s daily life has transformed since getting his new wheels! A year ago, we did not think he would be with us today.
As a younger dog, he volunteered as a “friendly greeter” at the Cleveland Clinic, bringing enthusiasm and comfort to those around him. When patients, families and staff came walked through the main doors, Kodi never failed to put a smile on their faces.
As a result of a neurological disorder, degenerative myelopathy (DM), Kodi was unable to continue his volunteer work at the clinic. He slowly lost his ability to walk on his hind legs and stand for more than a few seconds before collapsing to the ground.
Being outdoors was becoming more of a chore than a luxury for Kodi. We watched his quality of life diminishing and wanted to find a way to help him. In searching for a solution, we came across Handicappedpets.com. Though skeptical at first about the Walkin’ Wheels’ ability to assist a dog Kodi’s size, we had everything to lose. It was worth a shot.
It took a few weeks for him to get used to his wheels. The first few practice sessions consisted of him staring at us in the driveway as if to say: “Are you kidding me?” But now he is eager to go on daily walks (even in the snow) with his hot new wheels and he has become a social butterfly in the neighborhood—acting as if he were a young pup greeting his dog buddies around the block.
Outside of the DM, Kodi is a healthy and happy dog. He loves to be outdoors and his positive energy and smiling face touches the lives of the people and dogs he interacts with regularly. Kodi’s sense of freedom with the wheels is allowing him to make the most of his senior years as he continues to enjoy his favorite activities.
On July 2, he will turn 13 years old! Regardless of what happens in the future, we are so grateful for the support and resources we have found within the animal community to enrich Kodi’s life in his ripe old age. He is even continuing to offer his therapeutic services to our 97-year-old great aunt Adeline. Every day we have with him is a miracle. He continues to surprise us with his spit-and-vinegar attitude—refusing to come home and insisting that we continue to parade around the neighborhood.
We want to thank the dog community for its resourcefulness and creativity. The Walkin’ Wheels is a wonderful device that gives dogs a second chance at an active life.